I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from Vexes, so I was ultimately ready for anything. Though as far as I can tell, the band are utterly obsessed with Deftones as is the frontman with Chino Moreno. This isn’t a bad thing, as Vexes more or less channel Deftones through a more modernized core flavor, which will certainly appeal to more modern listerners, as well as current Deftones fans. Yes, if you already dig Deftones and are waiting for a new disc, you can pick this one up now to satiate your cravings. Vexes generally sound like a Deftones cover band, but in the good way. I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys open with the genuine article, and it is good to see that such a memorable act in the Nu-Metal scene as Deftones managed to live on through other artists in this modern scene. Has anyone gotten the record over to Chino yet? I’d honestly be interested in his thoughts towards the disc, and whether or not he considered it a fine tribute or just outright copying. Even if the latter was true, Vexes are not a Chinese bootleg version of Deftones and feel like they’ve actually been able to channel the groove and passion that comes with a landmark Deftones release onto this record. It is kind of funny though, as my press release for this one didn’t even seem to mention Deftones as much as it did experimental. Would’ve been easier to just say, “hey, this one is for Deftones fans!” and leave it at that. What is also interesting, is that the song titles seem like the kind you might find on a Deftones disc, like “Terra”, “Lush”, “Plasticine” and “Meridian Response” among others. The band also throws a rapper (Mikey Caravajal of Islander) into the mix with “No Color” which makes sense, seeing as Deftones certainly incorporated rap with “Back To School.” In all honesty, I’m not going to fault these guys for taking from the Deftones playbook, because (aside from being able to play a drinking game while reading this observation) it’s obvious to me that the material has been done justice, and to be completely fair – not everything here sounds completely identical to the Deftones, just the majority of it. Even so, that to me is hardly an issue. If I were to pick up this one at the store, I’d at least know that I was getting a finely crafted regurgitation of a sound that I already like, along with some new approaches that I wouldn’t have expected and that you may also enjoy. With a disc that comes in at a clean forty-five minutes, I really don’t think you’re going to be able to find a better representation of this sound and style aside from the genuine article, which won’t be around forever. Give these guys a chance, they’re definitely doing something right.
(10 Tracks, 45:00)
Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)